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Elon Musk has deleted posts that promoted antisemitic and fake news accounts as “good” news sources amid the Israel-Gaza conflict.
The Twitter CEO received strong backlash after recommending accounts that have been known to share fake videos and use antisemitic language as reliable sources of information to his 159.3 million followers.
In a since-deleted post, Musk claimed that the accounts @WarMonitors and @sentdefender were “good” for “following the war in real-time” as the Israel-Gaza conflict has intensified.
He wrote: “For following the war in real-time, @WarMonitors & @sentdefender are good. It is also worth following direct sources on the ground. Please add interesting options in replies below.”
But, it was quickly pointed out that the @WarMonitors account has previously tweeted antisemitic comments by using a person’s Jewish religion as an insult in replies to Twitter users.
Musk’s controversial tweet came as Hamas launched attacks on Israel, reportedly killing more than 1,000 people.
Journalist Matt Binder tweeted: “Elon Musk boosting two regular fake news posters who have historically posted debunked videos.
“Neither are on the ground or verify. Both have shared AI-generated videos in the past as real. They just share any garbage they come across to rack up views.”
Binder also shared screenshots showing examples of the antisemitic language used by the @WarMonitors account.
a few tweets from one of the accounts that Elon Musk just recommended as a good source for news
Meanwhile, Emerson T. Brooking, a Senior Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council Digital Forensics Research Lab, described @sentdefender as an “absolutely poisonous account”.
He added that the account is seen “regularly posting wrong and unverifiable things (‘sources say’). Inserting random editorialization and trying to juice its paid subscriber count. 500k followers with most people retweeting it uncritically”.
absolutely poisonous account. regularly posting wrong and unverifiable things (\u201csources say\u201d). inserting random editorialization and trying to juice its paid subscriber count. 500k followers with most people retweeting it uncritically.
— Emerson T. Brooking (@Emerson T. Brooking)
Within hours of recommending @WarMonitors as a “good” news source, Musk reprimanded one of the account's tweets that used unobjective words such as “martyr”.
Musk replied to their tweet, writing: “‘Martyrs’ is not an objective or accurate word, nor is ‘murdered’.
“The former implies dying for a cause in battle and the latter implies a deliberate attempt to kill those specific people.
“While reporting both sides is fair, please use maximally accurate words or I must withdraw my recommendation to follow your account.”
@WarMonitors \u201cMartyrs\u201d is not an objective or accurate word, nor is \u201cmurdered\u201d.\n\nThe former implies dying for a cause in battle and the latter implies a deliberate attempt to kill those specific people.\n\nWhile reporting both sides is fair, please use maximally accurate words or I must\u2026